Boston Celtics second-year big man Kelly Olynyk returned to Boston on Friday to undergo additional testing on a sprained right ankle that coach Brad Stevens suggested could sideline him for an extended stretch.
Olynyk rolled his ankle after landing awkwardly on an opponent's foot chasing a rebound in the fourth quarter of Thursday's win in Portland. Olynyk hobbled off in obvious pain, was spotted on crutches following the game, and left the team's lengthy road trip out west so that team doctors can evaluate the severity of the injury.
Initial tests after Thursday's game were enough for Stevens to suggest that Olynyk might not return to game action until late February.
"He's unlikely to be available until even potentially right at or after the All-Star break," Stevens told reporters in Denver on Friday night.
The Celtics play nine games in a busy 14-day stretch starting with Sunday's visit to Golden State. But the schedule eases considerably from there with only one game -- a visit from the Hawks on Feb. 11 -- during a 12-day span that includes the new extended All-Star break.
The Celtics could utilize that downtime to get Olynyk completely healthy before the team resumes play on Feb. 20 in Sacramento.
Olynyk missed 10 games during his rookie campaign due to a sprained right ankle. In 40 appearances this season, the 23-year-old Olynyk is averaging 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1 steal over 24.5 minutes per game.
The injury could also prevent Olynyk from participating in the Rising Stars challenge at All-Star weekend in New York, assuming he's one of the international players invited under this year's revised format for the annual rookie/sophomore mixer.